Objective: The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effectiveness of spa therapy in the management of fibromyalgia.
Methods: Thirty women with fibromyalgia were randomly assigned to either a spa therapy group or a control group. The spa therapy group (n = 16) had spa treatment for 2 weeks in addition to their medical treatment. The control group (n = 14) continued to have their medical treatment and/or daily exercises. An investigator who was blinded for the intervention assessed all the patients for 9 months. Improvements in Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), pain and number of tender points were primary outcomes. Secondary outcome measures were improvement in sleep disturbance, fatigue, gastrointestinal symptoms, anxiety, Beck Depression Inventory and patient's global evaluation.
Results: the spa group was found to be superior to the control group at the end of intervention in terms of FIQ, pain, tender point count, fatigue and patients' global assessment. This superiority remained for 6 months in FIQ, 1 month in pain and tender point count.
Conclusion: It was concluded that the addition of spa therapy to medical therapy has both short- and long-term beneficial effects in female patients with fibromyalgia.